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Ulrica von Thiele Schwarz

Senior researcher

Delivery address : Tomtebodavägen 18a 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden

About me

I am an associate professor in Psychology and certified psychologist with a occpational background in occupational health services. My research focus is on intervention, implementation and improvement science from a psychological perspective. I co-lead the Procome research group together with Henna Hasson.


2008  Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University.
2001  Licensed Psychologist
2000  Master of Science in Psychology (300Hp), Department of Psychology, Stockholm University

Research description

My research is concerned with understanding how we can achieve sustainable improvements in organizations. It builds on work and organizational psychology and organizational behavior – the understanding of individuals in organizations and the interaction between those individuals and organizational process and structures. 

The improvements and intervention that we study range from the micro-system (e.g. thought-process among nurses in an ED) and the system level (e.g. how local authorities handle intended change, as well as linking of the different perspectives (e.g. the effect of reimbursement systems on employee job motivation). The content of the improvements and interventions has differed, as has their aim. The focus, instead, is on the process of managing and being effective in achieving the intended change, as well as the evaluation of such change.

Although the improvements and interventions I have been involved in at a first glance may seem very different, they do have some common characteristics. First, they represent an approach where the goal is to make a difference in the organization where the study is set at the same time as scientific, rigorous methods are applied in order to contribute to the accumulation of systematic knowledge. Second, the studies are concerned with how improvements can be made at workplaces with a dual focus on effect evaluations and process questions (implementation studies).  In this, I combine motivation theories, occupational health theories, leadership theories, organizational theories and operant psychology applied to organizations and systems (organizational behavior management).

Third, I strive toward integrating measures from different types of outcomes, including performance outcomes (quality of care, costs, safety etc.) and staff outcomes (health, wellbeing and work conditions). Thus, a common theme is to increase the awareness of the multiple effects of improvements and interventions on a whole range of outcomes, and the necessity of considering them simultaneously. For example, we have shown how an occupational intervention can have a positive effect on organizational performance (number of patients treated, quality of care and cost of sickness absence). Another example is showing how teamwork in emergency care, implemented with improved efficiency in mind, also has a substantial positive impact on patients’ perceptions of quality of care.

Some of my current projects include:

Sustainability amid ongoing change: Illuminating the adaptation and adherence dilemma in the evidence-to-practice pathway. Funded by Forte 2015-2018.

Leadership – the key to effective implementation. Funded by AFA Insurance 2014-2016 (PI: Anne Richter)

Adhere or Adapt? Integrating Evidence with context to improve performance in Health Care. VInnvård: 2013-2016 .

Effective implementation - factors that make workplace interventions operate. Forte 2013-2016 (PI: Henna Hasson)








Healthcare managers' leadership profiles in relation to perceptions of work stressors and stress
Lornudd C, Bergman D, Sandahl C, Von Thiele Schwarz U
Leadership in health services (Bradford, England) 2016;29(2):185-200

iLead-a transformational leadership intervention to train healthcare managers' implementation leadership
Richter A, Von Thiele Schwarz U, Lornudd C, Lundmark R, Mosson R, Hasson H
Implementation science : IS 2016;11():108-

Kaizen practice in healthcare: a qualitative analysis of hospital employees' suggestions for improvement
Mazzocato P, Stenfors-hayes T, Von Thiele Schwarz U, Hasson H, Nyström Me
BMJ open 2016;6(7):e012256-

Leadership training as an occupational health intervention: Improved safety and sustained productivity
Schwarz Uv, Hasson H, Tafvelin S
SAFETY SCIENCE 2016;:35-45

Applying a fidelity framework to understand adaptations in an occupational health intervention
Von Thiele Schwarz U, Hasson H, Lindfors P
Work (Reading, Mass.) 2015;51(2):195-203

Don't let it get to you! A moderated mediated approach to the (in)justice-health relationship
Eib C, Von Thiele Schwarz U, Blom V
Journal of occupational health psychology 2015;20(4):434-45

How Visual Management for Continuous Improvement Might Guide and Affect Hospital Staff: A Case Study
Ulhassan W, Von Thiele Schwarz U, Westerlund H, Sandahl C, Thor J
Quality management in health care 2015;24(4):222-8

Investigating variations in implementation fidelity of an organizational-level occupational health intervention
Augustsson H, Von Thiele Schwarz U, Stenfors-hayes T, Hasson H
International journal of behavioral medicine 2015;22(3):345-55

Nurses' perceptions of multitasking in the emergency department: effective, fun and unproblematic (at least for me) – a qualitative study
Forsberg Hh, Muntlin Athlin Å, Von Thiele Schwarz U
International emergency nursing 2015;23(2):59-64

Promoting employee health by integrating health protection, health promotion, and continuous improvement: a longitudinal quasi-experimental intervention study
Von Thiele Schwarz U, Augustsson H, Hasson H, Stenfors-hayes T
Journal of occupational and environmental medicine 2015;57(2):217-25

The mediating role of demand and control in the relationship between leadership behaviour and employee distress: a cross-sectional study
Lornudd C, Tafvelin S, Von Thiele Schwarz U, Bergman D
International journal of nursing studies 2015;52(2):543-54

Does lean implementation interact with group functioning?
Ulhassan W, Westerlund H, Thor J, Sandahl C, Schwarz Uv
Journal of health organization and management 2014;28(2):196-213

Functions of behavior change interventions when implementing multi-professional teamwork at an emergency department: a comparative case study
Frykman M, Hasson H, Athlin Åm, Von Thiele Schwarz U
BMC health services research 2014;14():218-

Interactions between lean management and the psychosocial work environment in a hospital setting - a multi-method study
Ulhassan W, Von Thiele Schwarz U, Thor J, Westerlund H
BMC health services research 2014;14():480-

Leader personality and 360-degree assessments of leader behavior
Bergman D, Lornudd C, Sjöberg L, Von Thiele Schwarz U
Scandinavian journal of psychology 2014;55(4):389-97

Managing implementation: roles of line managers, senior managers, and human resource professionals in an occupational health intervention
Hasson H, Villaume K, Von Thiele Schwarz U, Palm K
Journal of occupational and environmental medicine 2014;56(1):58-65

Measuring self-rated productivity: factor structure and variance component analysis of the Health and Work Questionnaire
Von Thiele Schwarz U, Sjöberg A, Hasson H, Tafvelin S
Journal of occupational and environmental medicine 2014;56(12):1302-7

Multitasking in the emergency department: does it affect the registered nurses' perceptions of their everyday practice?
Hvitfeldt Hf, Athlin Am, Schwarz Uv

Antecedents and characteristics of lean thinking implementation in a Swedish hospital: a case study
Ulhassan W, Sandahl C, Westerlund H, Henriksson P, Bennermo M, Von Thiele Schwarz U, et al
Quality management in health care 2013;22(1):48-61

Effects of multidisciplinary teamwork on lead times and patient flow in the emergency department: a longitudinal interventional cohort study
Muntlin Athlin A, Von Thiele Schwarz U, Farrohknia N
Scandinavian journal of trauma, resuscitation and emergency medicine 2013;21():76-

Effects of worksite health interventions involving reduced work hours and physical exercise on sickness absence costs
Von Thiele Schwarz U, Hasson H
Journal of occupational and environmental medicine 2012;54(5):538-44

Employee Self-rated Productivity and Objective Organizational Production Levels Effects of Worksite Health Interventions Involving Reduced Work Hours and Physical Exercise
Schwarz Uv, Hasson H

Inability to Withdraw from Work as Related to Poor Next-Day Recovery and Fatigue among Women
Schwarz Uv

Team behaviors in emergency care: a qualitative study using behavior analysis of what makes team work
Mazzocato P, Forsberg Hh, Schwarz Uv

Turning the tables: When the student teaches the professional - A case description of an innovative teaching approach as told by the students
Savage C, Amanalibi S, Andersson A, Lohr Sc, Eliasson Z, Eriksson H, et al
NURSE EDUCATION TODAY 2011;31(8):803-8

Self-rated Health and Allostatic Load in Women Working in Two Occupational Sectors
Hasson D, Schwarz Uv, Lindfors P

Health-related effects of worksite interventions involving physical exercise and reduced workhours
Schwarz Uv, Lindfors P, Lundberg U

Evaluating different measures of sickness absence with respect to work characteristics
Von Thiele U, Lindfors P, Lundberg U

Self-rated recovery from work stress and allostatic load in women
Von Thiele U, Lindfors P, Lundberg U

Stress management: a randomized study of cognitive behavioural therapy and yoga
Granath J, Ingvarsson S, Von Thiele U, Lundberg U
Cognitive behaviour therapy 2006;35(1):3-10

Work characteristics and upper extremity disorders in female dental health workers
Lindfors P, Von Thiele U, Lundberg U

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